There is plenty of talk, and hype, around the current crop of US U17s. And deservedly so. The team has a distinctive style and is notching great result after great result.
Their success comes off a ’96 core group of U17s that failed to reach the U17 World Cup in multiple years. One of main bright spots of the ’96 group was the play of Joel Sonora. The Boca Juniors prospect came into the team late adding flair and creativity that seemed to be lacking with Head Coach Richie Williams’ decision not to play Junior Flores in that role.
Sonora’s successes have since earned him a call-up to the US U20 team under Coach Tab Ramos. The ’96 Sonora was invited to train with mostly ’95s in Florida last Winter, and according to reports impressed National Team scouts and coaches.
Sonora has taken this confidence back with him to Argentina securing the fabled #10 shirt with the Argentina powerhouse for the last two seasons.
Joel recently was named to a Boca Juniors roster for the Durban u19 International Tournament in South Africa that included Everton, Santos, Feyernoord, Benfica, Roma and the South Africian U19 team. Joel is listed as one of the youngest players on the Boca roster, playing with mostly ’95s.
Boca reached the semi-finals of the tournament losing to Santos in PKs. Sonora was joint top scorer for Boca with two goals including this strike against Roma in Boca’s 2-0 victory.
However, Joel is not the only hot shot from Argentina, or prospect from the Sonora family for that matter, that has his sights set on greatness in the States.
OWTY has learned that Joel’s younger brother Alan Sonora (’98), would be open to a call into US youth squads. It is reported early in 2013, when Joel accepted the US call, that younger brother Alan was unsure of donning the red, white and blue.
Alan told OWTY over email that if the US U17 coach Richie Williams were to call him into a camp that he would accept. This could be quite the coup for Williams who already has a solid relationship with the Sonora’s.
Alan, like older brother Joel, wears the #10 for the Boca Juniors U17 squad. Alan is a tremendously creative player for his side and enjoys dictating the pace of the game.
I’ll just go ahead and answer the question you’re asking yourself. Does this current group of US U17s with players like Christian Pulisic, Josh Perez, Luca de la Torre, Pierre da Silva, Keegan Kelly, need a player like Alan?
Yes, why not. Why would US not want to see what Alan could do? Just look at what Joel was able to show us.